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#42468 - Wed May 20, 2009 2:40 PM The importance of going to church  
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Johan Offline
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I found today a sheet of paper laying around with the following on it:

The importance of going to church

  • It is important for us a human beings, to go to church and not only do so when we are going through trials and tribulations.
  • When we participate in church gatherings it is when we have the ability to experience greater joy and happiness.
  • The other factor is that we need to seek for spiritual upliftment in describing the many things we want to achieve so that we may receive holy promptings pertaining to the things we want to achieve at the end of the day.
  • Then consequently, we will be seeking to keep ourselves constructively occupied, and lifting where we stand it is when we are most likely to act with a form of godliness.
  • Furthermore, we draw near with our lips and feel the power thereof.


(Some points read a bit difficult!).

Comments?


Johan

#42469 - Wed May 20, 2009 2:47 PM Re: The importance of going to church [Re: Johan]  
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Johan,

The first thing that came to mind after reading those points is that WORSHIP was noticeably missing. It's all about ME; what I can get emotioinally and materially.

In His grace,


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#42470 - Wed May 20, 2009 3:12 PM Re: The importance of going to church [Re: Pilgrim]  
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hisalone Offline
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I have been putting together a short study on New Age cults. It is interesting that all that was on the list could fit the new age "mentality". I have been studying a little about the emergent church and instead of emergent, why don't we call it what it is, a New Age church? For the new ager it is all about sensation and experience. Maybe churches won't use incense and mantras, but many still fill the services with things that are for the purpose of appealing to the senses such as rock music, multimedia and a list of other things. Worship is all about Christ, not us, and He will only be found through His word, not anything man conjures up. I mentioned the emergent church, but it also applies to a number of churches that would call themselves biblical. The church needs to wake up, the wolves are running about and the sheep are being mauled.



Hisalone
Matt. 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. KJV
#42472 - Thu May 21, 2009 12:15 AM Re: The importance of going to church [Re: Pilgrim]  
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Originally Posted by Pilgrim

The first thing that came to mind after reading those points is that WORSHIP was noticeably missing. It's all about ME; what I can get emotioinally and materially.


Indeed, I also noticed it. A year or two ago we had a discussion in church council about the quality of singing by the congregation. One of the elders said that he is irritated when the singing is poor and then feels to just stop singing. I noted that first of all the singing is not to make us feel good but that singing is a form of prayer directed to God. If you stop singing because you are irritated, then you miss the real meaning of singing in the worship service. Again, this person's view was that it is al about ME.

Johan

#42473 - Thu May 21, 2009 1:06 AM Re: The importance of going to church [Re: hisalone]  
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Originally Posted by hisalone
I have been putting together a short study on New Age cults. It is interesting that all that was on the list could fit the new age "mentality". I have been studying a little about the emergent church and instead of emergent, why don't we call it what it is, a New Age church? For the new ager it is all about sensation and experience. Maybe churches won't use incense and mantras, but many still fill the services with things that are for the purpose of appealing to the senses such as rock music, multimedia and a list of other things. Worship is all about Christ, not us, and He will only be found through His word, not anything man conjures up. I mentioned the emergent church, but it also applies to a number of churches that would call themselves biblical. The church needs to wake up, the wolves are running about and the sheep are being mauled.



Something that I have been wondering about recently is what the process was that lead to the deformation of the early church and that after some time resulted in the RCC. Are there any similarities between the situation then and now? The four points that this person listed about why it is important to go to church clearly speaks of a misconception of what the church is. (Strictly speaking there is no such thing as "going to church", because we are the church.) Hisalone refers to filling the services with things that appeals to our senses etc. Are all these things an early sign of deformation? What does history tell us about how the deformation started. Unfortunately I am not clued up with that details.

Johan

#42476 - Thu May 21, 2009 8:11 PM Re: The importance of going to church [Re: Johan]  
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Those are some interesting questions. I know that gnosticism and the New Age are basically the same thing, so that has been an attack on the church from the very beginning. What about the RCC and all the ritualistic services with their censors and icons etc, what did promote that other than sin? Did the leaders in the church start those things to get the interest of the people like what is happening in churches today? Sensual worship such as smell and sight?

There was quit a bit less sharing of bible knowledge then compared to today with all the resourses available to us, of which most important is the Word of God in everyone's hands. Because of that, a different tactic would need to be used by the enemy to deceive God's people. Is that what is happening today? a return to the ignorance of the spiritual dark ages even though we have so much available?

That is a scary thought, think how much more harshly the church today will be judged because of all we have at our disposal and still, due to laziness and neglect, believing the lies of the enemy. Why did the RCC church turn to the iconic, ritualistic services? I guess bad doctrine and overall ignorance of what God said, isn't that how it always starts?


Hisalone
Matt. 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. KJV
#42515 - Tue May 26, 2009 7:32 PM Re: The importance of going to church [Re: Johan]  
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Johan,

Sounds like something promoting going to a seeker-sensitive mega-church. I know a lot of "Christians" who go to church for just these reasons.


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
#42525 - Wed May 27, 2009 3:04 PM Re: The importance of going to church [Re: CovenantInBlood]  
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Hi everyone,

This is my first post here but this thread caught my eye as I was looking around after having read a most excellent article on this site about the Sovereign Election of God.

I don't attend organized church. I don't go to a building on Sundays, sit there for a couple of hours, and watch one man exercising his gifting in front of hundreds of the rest of us who must sit mute as spectators.

There is something very wrong with organized Church today. It is nothing like New Testament Church was.

I say all that even though I am an absolutely committed Christian who loves the Lord.

And no I am not rebellious to authority, having an independent spirit, or otherwise. I want to be with my brothers and sisters in Christ but I just don't fit into the square hole that organized Churches would have me fit into.

May I suggest that the important thing is NOT going to Church (as if we can go to something the Lord never meant to be a place) but rather that we Christians BE the Church? Wherever we happen to be?

Just my thoughts if anyone cares to discuss this more.

Carlos

#42526 - Wed May 27, 2009 5:00 PM Re: The importance of going to church [Re: carlos123]  
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Hi Carlos,

Welcome to The Highway! hello

Quote
And no I am not rebellious to authority, having an independent spirit, or otherwise. I want to be with my brothers and sisters in Christ but I just don't fit into the square hole that organized Churches would have me fit into.


Despite what you say about not having an independent spirit, it sure does sound like you have an independent spirit! giggle Now, perhaps all of the churches in your area are promoting a false gospel, in which case you would have reason not to be joined to them. But the church has a visible manifestation - as the body in which the word of God is faithfully preached, the sacraments (baptism & the Lord's Supper) are rightly observed, and sin is disciplined. We see in Scripture that these are done in the context of local assemblies (Greek ecclesia, translated "church," means "assembly"), in which godly men have been called as elders/overseers & deacons.

Perhaps you can tell us a little more about what you think the church is supposed to be like, according to Scripture?


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
#42527 - Wed May 27, 2009 7:41 PM Re: The importance of going to church [Re: CovenantInBlood]  
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Hi there CovenantBlood!

Nice to hear from you. Glad too that although I sound rebellious you are at least giving me a chance to say a bit more about where I am coming from smile.

Incidentally if there is rebellion in my heart may the Lord cause it to come to the surface that I might repent from it for it would be most displeasing to God not to mention hypocritical of me to go around with such in my heart.

I couldn't help but notice that under your name there is the term "Persnickety Presbyterian" so perhaps the Lord will humble me through one such as you and cause me to see what I do not at present see in my heart smile. I never noticed that term before...a term which is not neccessarily very commendable with respect to how it is defined in the dictionary.

My further comments are interspersed in between yours below...

Originally Posted by CovenantInBlood

Despite what you say about not having an independent spirit, it sure does sound like you have an independent spirit! giggle


Just curious CovenantInBlood...if you care to share, I am wondering what I said that might lead you to believe that I have an independent spirit? I am not asking from the standpoint of defending myself. Who knows. Maybe the Lord wants to point out something in me that needs attention but I am going to have a hard time seeing it as clearly as you seem to see it. Maybe the Lord can use you to help me in that regard.

Quote

Now, perhaps all of the churches in your area are promoting a false gospel, in which case you would have reason not to be joined to them.


Well...now you are being a bit, how shall I put it, fascitious I think. Of course not all the churches are promoting a false Gospel CovenantInBlood. That would be quite ridiculous and altogether arrogant if I or anyone else thought such a thing.

Though in truth such a thing might be more common that we might realize in that many churches today teach that one can accept Jesus "into their heart" without submitting to Him as Lord (a most unblical Gospel if I ever heard one).

But that is not the reason I don't attend Sunday churches.

Quote

But the church has a visible manifestation - as the body in which the word of God is faithfully preached, the sacraments (baptism & the Lord's Supper) are rightly observed, and sin is disciplined.


You are correct in saying that the Church is a Body and that within her the word of God is (or at least should be) faithfully preached. And yes, of course, Baptism and the Lord's Supper are part of what the Church does or is involved in doing. And I am very glad to hear you say that the Body is a place where sin is disciplined (that too is greatly lacking in most assemblies).

Quote

We see in Scripture that these are done in the context of local assemblies (Greek ecclesia, translated "church," means "assembly"), in which godly men have been called as elders/overseers & deacons.


I believe I might differ with you just a tad CovenantInBlood in that it is my understanding that the Church or ecclesia is not so much an assembly (as in a building or something associated with a building) as it is a group of called out one's. Called out from the world to proclaim the excellencies of Him who calls us.

Nowhere in the entire New Testament is Church associated with a building. It is true that New Testament Christians met at first in a building, the Temple in Jerusalem but that was incidental and simply a convenience to their being Christians (not to mention that it was the most convenient and natural place to meet given their Jewish background).

It would be more in line with what they did in the New Testament to say that Church was a field or even a home than a specific Church building (if we were to superimpose our understanding of Church as a building today on the New Testament Christians such that we would start looking for a place to associate with Church as opposed to being the Church wherever we might be).

I am also glad to hear you talking of elders/overseers as opposed to Pastors which is definitely more in line with what Church leaders were. In New Testament times they were not called and labeled by their work, that of shepherding, but by a recognition of their being more mature and qualifying to lead by virtue of that maturity as elders.

So I think you and I would agree a great deal if not entirely on what Church is CovenantInBlood claphands

Quote

Perhaps you can tell us a little more about what you think the church is supposed to be like, according to Scripture?


I'd be glad to.

I was just discussing this with a good friend of mine just a couple of days ago. He too does not attend a regular Sunday Church (there are a lot of us by the way and many more opting out of organized representations of Church these days...dare I say it might even be a move of God?). But both of us are absolutely committed to having Jesus be Lord of our lives and we are both surrendered to whatever He might want to do with our lives.

In 1 Cor 14:26 is an interesting description of what Church was supposed to be like in Corinth and what I believe it should be like, overall, today. My quote is from the New American Standard Bible...

Quote

What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation Let all things be done for edification.


Interesting set of verses those. Now why are we not allowing the Holy Spirit to lead our get togethers as a Church today. Do you know of any Church where God through His Spirit is given control of an assembled gathering like that? I sure don't. And I've either been involved or have attended a great many Church assemblies in my lifetime as a Christian.

I've only ever seen one such practice of Church. And that was not in an established and organized Church assembly. Rather it was among a group of Christians who the Lord knit together in an apartment building that we all lived in at the time. Some of us did not attend Sunday churches, some did, but we all met as equals in the eyes of our common Father and we allowed Him to lead us.

It was the most wonderful fellowship I ever experienced in my life and the most wonderful and true manifestations of God happened in that small Body that I think I have ever experienced.

At most Sunday emphesizing Churches I am expected to go and sit and listen and learn and give some money perhaps. But I must sit and stand and sing and then sit back down in line with what is expected of me. Not by God but by the Church leaders of that particular assembly. Much of what passes for Church today is about control. About controlling the sheep so that things happen according to an expected norm of supposed order in the Church.

The order spoken about in the context of the verses I shared is not the kind of order that most Church leaders have in mind!

It is an order that allows the Holy Spirit to have free reign to move through members of His Body to speak out and otherwise do through them whatever He wills to do through them.

Why is that spiritual gifts among the Sheep must lie dormant or relatively unused in the pews while only a very few, and usually the same one's, get to exercise their gifting up front?

Where is the biblical justification for that?

I don't see it.

This is just one point CovenantInBlood. There are many, many other things I could say.

But I don't want to emphesize the many things wrong with the practice of Church as we know it today. Rather I want to be free to implement what I see in the New Testament among my Christian brothers and sisters without undue and unscriptural restraint being placed upon us by Church leaders who are more interested it seems in promoting their Church programs, structure, and traditions, than in allowing God to be God in our midst.

When I have tried to be a part of traditional Churches I have without exception bumped into the conflict between what is (in current practice) and what I see in the New Testament. From wanting to baptize people in water in public (instead of in a Church baptistry) to wanting myself and others to be free to share what the Lord might lay on our hearts...the practice of New Testament Christianity doesn't fit into the traditions of most existing Churches today. Rather one must put on a straight jacket of Church traditions in order to be able to fit in.

Something new is needed and I am seeing God do a most wonderful thing among Christians at large who are getting sick of the straight jackets they are being placed into by Church traditions that are not of God's making.

Carlos



#42529 - Thu May 28, 2009 7:32 AM Re: The importance of going to church [Re: carlos123]  
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Johan Offline
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Carlos,

Well, I would say that ALL on the forum will agree that the Church is not a building.

IMHO you are a bit vague about many things. What exactly is it that you would like to see in the gathering of believers? What about things like the sacraments and discipline that CovenantBlood refers to? And what traditions are you against?

Regards

Johan

#42530 - Thu May 28, 2009 12:01 PM Re: The importance of going to church [Re: Johan]  
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Hi Johan,

In all honesty it is so very difficult at times to explain what I am saying to those who are for the most part content with their Sunday services.

Nothing personal intended but it's like people are hard of hearing or something.

Vague? I thought I explained it pretty clearly but let me try a different tack...

I assume you go to a Sunday emphasizing Church where the Sunday service is the main Church activity and focus. In other words a typical North American Church.

Let's say you invite me to your Church.

Alrighty then...thanks for the invite.

Now...

Can I stand up during a service if I sense the Lord through His Spirit wanting me to share something such that I can share it? If not why not? (keep in mind the verses I shared previously about how the Spirit wants to control the meeting).

Can I baptize new converts in the nearest river or lake? In public? Will I be supported (don't mean financially) in doing so and will I be restricted in the free encouragement that others follow the biblical example and do the same?

Will I be able to baptize new converts immediately as a way of being converted rather than having them say a sinner's prayer and enter a length baptism class the end objective of said class being to get them baptized.

Will I be able to break bread around a meal in my home and to invite other believers to join me there whether they are part of your Church or not? If not...why not?

Will I and other men be encouraged to look upon ourselves as potential Church leaders based solely on our character and desire (based on qualifications clearly laid out in Timothy and Titus) without consideration for our theological training or advanced doctor's of divinity degrees?

Can I encourage the women at your Church to wear head coverings? If not...why not? I am not talking about forcing anyone to wear head coverings. I am saying can I even encourage that as something that God wants done?

Can I encourage other believers at your Church to join me in open air preaching and reaching out to the lost?

Must I force any persons who respond to go to your Church or can I have them get together with ANY local assembly of the Body even if the local assembly that they ultimately end up at does not meet in a typical Church building, have a building, or is even noticeably organized? If I can't do that why not?

Can I share with other believers in your Church about the spiritual gifts being for today? Such as tongues and prophecy and otherwise? If not...why not? Must I only share what your Church leaders want me to share? Where is the scriptural justification for that? If we are all equal in the eyes of God and if His Spirit leads us is it not possible that I or your leaders could be wrong in something we believe such that the Lord might want another one of us to share that something different with the Body for the growth and edification of the rest? Not in divisive manner but rather in a recognition that none of us have a corner in truth? Where we must openly respect each other and allow differences of opinion to not only exist but be taught. Encouraging believers to make up their own minds.

Should I go on?

Do you honestly think that I would fit into your Church as it is at present?

Would Jesus, that radical and non-religious person who came into the world and turned the established religious structures on their head, be accepted into your Church? I mean really? You know, that Jesus who called the Pharasees hypocrites. That Jesus who healed on the Sabbath (outside acceptable Church ministry times). That Jesus who accepted the worst of sinners into His company. Who often slept on the ground with His disciples. Would Jesus, the real Jesus, really be accepted at your Church?

Carlos

#42531 - Thu May 28, 2009 1:07 PM Re: The importance of going to church [Re: carlos123]  
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Carlos,

I understand what you are saying but it must be considered from the view of others also. I think we are in agreement that the teaching of Christ is of the most importance correct? The things you are mentioning have nothing to do with our salvation in Jesus Christ, tongues, head coverings and other things you mentioned. It would be wrong for you to become a part of a body in whom you are in disagreement with. Why, because you cause a brother to stumble. Without getting into where I stand on those issues, you must realize we are all at different places in our biblical understandings as to the issues you mentioned. As you said, who has the corner on the truth? With that in mind, it is best to join a body that has the same view as you and grow together with them. For some of us, if you were to bring those things up during the service other than just as questions in a teaching setting, it would be considered an attack on the unity of the church. Where would it stop? People would want to expound all kinds of wild doctrines causing confusion and disunity in the church. Certain individuals have been gifted for pastoring and teaching, it is a gift of God that the church must recognize. Much like the sons of Korah, everyone thinks they are a teacher or pastor, and that isn't biiblical. Jumping up to give a prophecy is better done in a church that allows that, in our church it would probably freak someone out, causing them to stumble. I'm not saying it is wrong if you feel led to do that, but don't do it in a church you know is more reserved in their worship. We are all different, we all have our styles, join the one you best fit with. If you take notice, even Jesus obeyed the form of worship in the synagogue by going to the front to read the Scriptures, why didn't he just give the exposition of the reading from where He stood in the congregation? We must recognize the order in the churches we attend, God is a God of order. I am not saying this to discourage you, just trying to point you to what I believe is best for you and the church.


Hisalone
Matt. 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. KJV
#42532 - Thu May 28, 2009 2:19 PM Re: The importance of going to church [Re: hisalone]  
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scratchchin At first reading it sounds like you are making man the standard of how the worship of God should be done. Is this what you are suggesting to Carlos?

Most of us here who are of the Reformed tradition (in a good sense, i.e., in accord with the Confessions and Catechisms that came out of the Protestant Reformation they being summaries of biblical truth) hold to what is known as "The Regulative Principle of Worship". This principle stands against all others because it teaches that God and God alone determines how He is to be worshiped. Further, Nothing is to be done unless there is an explicit command to do so or by good and necessary inference, e.g., from example. Remember, we went through this in the thread concerning the offerings of Cain and Abel. wink

The Protestant Reformation was a seed bed from which grew the core doctrines of Scripture, e.g., the person and nature of God, Christ and the Holy Spirit, justification, sanctification, eternal security, the administration of sacraments and along with several others, the worship of God.

Narrowing in on worship, the true Protestant Church teaches that God has set in order the guidelines that govern the meeting together of the saints, aka: corporate worship which first of all must consist of a plurality of Elders and Deacons. These are men who are gifted and called of God to serve in their respective offices for the purpose of preaching, teaching, ruling, disciplining and providing for the saints. One of the prominent elements of Protestant biblical worship is the centrality of the preaching of the Word by those called to that responsibility. (Scripture references can be provided if needed) grin This preaching of the Word is to be done by those who "labor in the Word and doctrine" (1Thess 5:12, 13; 1Tim 5:17). This cannot be done as suggested by some, i.e., a extemporaneous speaking by anyone who happens to be in the assembly.

It is true that no one denomination nor individual church "has the corner of the truth", i.e., knows and teaches everything God has revealed perfectly. But this must not be construed as some form of agnosticism. One need only read through the Protestant Confessions and it will become very evident that they all agreed on most everything across denominational lines. The Spirit of God was mightily active during that period of Church history and one would be an arrogant fool to disregard the work of the Spirit in those men and the documents which resulted from their joined efforts in searching the Scriptures to know what God has revealed as truth.

Finally, as the old adage goes, "If you find a perfect church, don't join it because you'll ruin it!" giggle

Here is a worthwhile article on: "Choosing a Church", by Daniel Wray.

In His grace,

Last edited by Pilgrim; Thu May 28, 2009 2:41 PM. Reason: Added link

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#42533 - Thu May 28, 2009 2:50 PM Re: The importance of going to church [Re: Pilgrim]  
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No pilgrim, I'm not saying man sets the standard on how we worship God. What I tried to convey is that we are all at different points in our walk with God, and it is a growth process. There are certain aspects of worship I expect in any service, but then there are accidentals, such as form of music or even no music that are not as important. If I had my way, there would only be hymns sung in the church, but that is my preference, but does that make someone else's style wrong? not if it is Christ honoring. We can be too much of sticklers on what people "must" do and forget what the doing is all about (what Carlos spoke of). God sets the standard and if we truly desire to grow in grace and knowledge, the "church" will make the necessary corrections as it grows. Some churches are more mature than others, but does that mean the more mature "biblically regulated" church body is better? I hope your answer is no, and that is what I'm trying to convey in my last post. There are certain things that are absolutely essential in worship and then other things that are taste and culture. I'm Baptist, but that doesn't mean I'm not comfortable in a Presbyterian church, I disagree about some things, even doctrinally, but I can worship and find our Lord's blessing there. I suppose there are Penecostal, Methodist, Anglican and Epsicopal, as well as other churches that I can also worship in and draw close to God through Jesus Christ, again not agreeing on everything they do, but if Christ is the focus through His word and truth, I can be quite at home.

Worshipping in Spirit and truth does not mean only those who are in what you call the "regulative principle of worship" are actually worshipping does it?


Hisalone
Matt. 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. KJV
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